South Auckland vs. Hamilton

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South Auckland vs. Hamilton


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Old 7th September 2013, 03:25 PM
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Default South Auckland vs. Hamilton

Hi all,

My husband, 2-year-old son and I plan to arrive in NZ some time in January or February next year. It looks like I will have a job offer from the south Auckland area and one from Hamilton. We generally consider ourselves "city people," but live in an urban neighborhood (not central city area) at this time, where we can walk to many shops, cafes and there is a nearby playground for our son. We also love the beach.

Generally, we're leaving the U.S. for a slower pace of life, better work/family balance, less commuting, explore new cultures and experience working in another country. From a financial standpoint, we look to be reasonably comfortable (from what I can tell of rental prices) in Hamilton, maybe cutting it a little closer in Auckland.

I feel like many people have told us to avoid Hamilton, but those folks were also single and without children. I'm wondering if anyone would like to share their opinion on the pros/cons of each location (particularly for families). Any input would be appreciated as we try to work through this decision.

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Old 7th September 2013, 04:48 PM
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Where in South Auckland? Some of it can be a little rough (well, by NZ standards, tame by US standards)

As an ex-Aucklander myself, I'd pick Hamilton if I were to move back with a young family, assuming the job offer was good enough to allow you to live comfortably. If escaping long commutes and the rat race is your goal.

However, there are some downsides, as evident by threads on this forum, about new immigrants finding it tough to build a new social circle in the smaller centers. Kiwis are a pretty reserved bunch normally, more so in the smaller places.

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Old 7th September 2013, 09:15 PM
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The likely offer that I will have in South Auckland is with the Counties Manakau health board. I certainly expect that we may not live in the area near the clinic, but I was somewhat dismayed to hear that commutes of an hour or longer are not uncommon in Auckland (maybe not common?) and was really hoping to get away from that. I currently spend about 45 minutes commuting to and from work here in the US. Perhaps there are nice areas to live in Auckland/suburbs that aren't too far but are still nice for walking to cafes/shops or living near the beach...

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Old 8th September 2013, 02:59 AM
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Commutes of an hour aren't uncommon, but it's probably someone who want's the semi rural life and wants to work in the CBD. Or close to it.

For example, I used to live in the middle of suburban hell called Mt Roskill, and work in the heart of the CBD, I started at 7:00am and the drive was 20 mins, the drive back at 4:00 pm was maybe 30-35 mins. Not too bad.

The main problem with South Auckland traffic-wise is the Southern Motorway, every man and his dog is on it all damn day, so if you're living at one end and working at the other, then likely you're going to have a long commute.

There are some nice places in East Aucks that will be close enough to Manukau center, like Botany Downs, Howick etc. You should have a very short commute then.
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Old 8th September 2013, 03:26 AM
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If you are working in Manukau, you could live in the Eastern suburbs (Howick, etc) or Clevedon, Whitford or Pukekohe for a bit more of the country life. ll would be within an hour's commute of South Auckland.

You'd probably be paid more in Auckland than in Hamilton, and houses would be more expensive accordingly.

Hamilton's a nice little city. I personally would go with Hamilton (which is where I am now working).
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Old 8th September 2013, 03:33 AM
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As Cheeser said, there are areas of South Auckland you may wish to avoid, although also there are some very nice areas, so if it is going to be Sth Auckland, it would pay to have a look around before finally settling on an area.
Hamilton, where I live, is an inland city, by NZ standards. About 35 minutes to Raglan to the west, and about 1 1/2 hours to Tauranga and the beautiful Mount Maunganui beach to the east. As far as Hamilton is concerned look at suburbs like Pukete, Rototuna, Dinsdale, The Lake. Lots of modern housing, playgrounds etc. When I say city, Hamilton has about 150,000, so it's quieter than the average international city. Roads can get congested, but a commute to the city from any area shouldn't take longer than 1/2 hour in peak traffic. 15 minutes otherwise.
Also, if you have kids, be mindful that wherever you choose to live is zoned for a particular school (unless you go private). So if you live on XYZ street, your kids are supposed to go to XYZ school.
Good luck.
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